Proud Moment #527

I have loved the sport of baseball since I was 6. I remember the first time I watched a game on TV. I had no clue what was happening on the field, but I wanted to learn more about it. So, I kept a schedule in a little notebook. I wrote down when future games were on TV and made mental notes to make sure to watch them. I would watch each game and take notes about the game. And soon, I fully understood the game. My father was not into baseball so I watched these games alone whenever the living room table was available. I threw fits whenever I could not watch a game…I would cry to my mom and say:

“Mom, I can’t miss the game…Will Clark is my favorite player…and I know he’s gonna do something big today.”

She didn’t watch baseball either so I never got my way. This love affair with baseball was strong and no one I knew understood it. I began collecting baseball cards and storing them in a briefcase. I would bring that briefcase everywhere just so I could show the cards off to anyone who might want to see them. And most of the time, no one ever wanted to see them. And when I watched my first game live, I was hooked for life. The smell of the grass, the crack of the bat when a ball was hit on its screws…it was romantic. It was a painful sport to watch growing up because I couldn’t take it whenever my team lost. I would sit on the couch and cry to myself. I was too emotionally involved, but there wasn’t a thing I could do about it. In 1989, my team made it to the World Series…the championship. But, they didn’t win…I was crushed. I remember crying on my pillow for days. Yes, sad I know…but I was an emotional kid. My team made it to the World Series again in 2002…and lost again. I was 23 and still cried when they lost. And when they finally won in 2010, I cried again…but these were tears of joy. It was a relief after watching this same team for 25 years. By this time, my daughter was 3 and had no interest in baseball. I imagined taking her to games and seeing her fall in love with this sport the same way I did. I could see us talking about pitch location and cheering our heads off when we won. My wife and I took her to games, but of course, she didn’t understand what was going on. And I was afraid of the possibility that she might not even like the sport at all. That she would say it was boring…and she didn’t like going to the games. But, we are a baseball family. My wife is in love with baseball too. She understands all the weird strategy that goes in a game…she can name lineups and talk stats better than most guys I know. So, we made a point to pass down this same love to our daughter. My daughter is 6 now and we took her to a game tonight. I glanced at her every few minutes to see if she was paying attention to the game or if she would just stare off into the distance out of boredom. But, that didn’t happen. She watched everything that was happening on the field. She didn’t understand what was going on, but neither did I at her age, I knew she was trying to figure out what was going on, so me and my wife would point things out to her. She started clapping when the crowd clapped…and even tried to sing “Take me out to the ballgame” during the 7th inning stretch. She asked questions about certain players and wanted to know their names. And when we walked out of the park, I knew she was hooked. I was so proud to see her clapping in sync with the crowd, My eyes watered when I saw her stand up to dance in between innings. She was having the time of her life. These are moments that a parent cherishes forever. Being able to pass down something you love to your child is priceless. I could see her doing the same thing for her future children…taking them to ball games and explaining the game. And telling her kids:

 

“Your Grandpa and grandma used to take me to games all the time…they taught me everything about baseball…and now it’s your turn to learn about this game I love…”

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